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District 4 candidates to debate in ‘pivotal’ Land Park forum tonight

Steve Hansen and Joe Yee will debate tonight at Land Park’s California Middle School.

Sacramento City Council hopefuls Steve Hansen and Joe Yee are preparing for a potentially “pivotal” forum Wednesday night on Yee’s home turf, Land Park.

Yee and Hansen will debate in the second half of the “Candidates and Ballot Measure Forum,” to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at California Middle School on Vallejo Way and Land Park Drive. The first half of the civic extravaganza will feature discussions of the three city ballot measures M, T and U – or charter commission, green waste and the half-cent sales tax – according to Mark Abrahams, president of the Land Park Community Association.

Hansen’s base of support is in the central city, but he will need to pick up support in River Oaks (whose neighborhood association held its own Q&A with the candidates Tuesday night) and Land Park if he is going to win on Nov. 6. Yee, meanwhile, will look to hold Land Park and do well enough in the central city to win.

The final vote tallies from the June primary election are a good reminder of the importance of Land Park.

STEVE HANSEN              3,454     28.39%

JOSEPH YEE                    3,379     27.77%

PHYLLIS A. NEWTON     2,758     22.67%

TERRY SCHANZ              1,782     14.65%

While Hansen did come in first – edging out Yee by 75 votes – there were two other strong candidates from Land Park in the race – Phyllis Newton and Terry Schanz, the latter of which has endorsed Yee. If the primary results can serve as any guide, how the rest of the Land Park vote swings could be decisive, making tonight’s meeting a key test for both candidates.

Hansen said as much when I asked him to size up the end of the race in an interview Monday.

"The Land Park forum on Wednesday night in a lot of ways is going to be a pivotal forum, because I think there are a lot of people there who are trying to make a decision about who they want to support and why,” he said.

Update:  In another nod to the importance of the forum, Hansen urged his supporters to attend the "highly anticipated Land Park candidate debate!" in a Facebook post on Wenesday morning.  

Yee also sent us this statement:

"I am looking forward to addressing the voters and community this evening. The Forum represents an opportunity for me to directly respond to community’s concerns for Land Park, District 4 and the City. We will also have an opporunity to speak to my priorities of neighborhood engagement, responsible business growth and job creation, the restoration of basic City servicies. The Forum will also give the voters an opportunity judge the value of experience and knowledge gained by running a small business for more than 20 years and almost 19 years of city planning."

Event details via Mark Abrahams:

Candidates and Ballot Measure Forum, October 17, 6-9 p.m. at California Middle School on Vallejo Way and Land Park Drive.

The first half of the evening will be devoted to discussion of the three city ballot measures M, T, and U, or charter commission, green waste, and half-cent sales tax. Speakers will include Sacramento City Council members Kevin McCarty and Angelique Ashby, Craig Powell of Eye on Sacramento and Anna Molander, former chair of the Democratic Party of Sacramento.

After an intermission where plans will be discussed regarding a renovation of the Land Park Amphitheater, the second half of the evening will feature questions for candidates Hansen and Yee. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Bob Waste, former professor of public policy at Sacramento State. The audience members are invited to submit questions. The forum, co-sponsored by the Land Park Community Association and the Broadway Partnership, is free to the public.

The Sacramento Press will host a debate with Yee and Hansen on Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret, 1000 K St. Get event details and RSVP here.

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